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The Spanish legislative elections on 9 March 2008 and their consequences

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  1. Introduction
  2. Review
  3. Conclusion

On March 9, 2008 general elections were held in Spain in order to designate the Ninth Parliament of the Cortes Generales (the Congress of Deputies and the Senate for 4 years. The 350 deputies are elected by proportional representation, listed by province (equivalent of French departments), with a minimum threshold of 3% of votes cast to be represented. In contrast, only 208 of the 259 senators were renewed in 2008, through the Block Vote by province. The other 51 were appointed by the Parliaments of the Autonomous Communities (equivalent French regions).

Spain emerged from four years of Socialist Party government (2004-2008), after 8 years of domination of the People's Party (1996-2004). The balance of Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero proved rather positive. His political courage was recognized after the withdrawal of Spanish troops from Iraq and the massive regularization of hundreds of thousands of illegal foreign workers. His polices of social facilitation of abortion and divorce, protecting women against violence, and legalizing gay marriage was widely supported by the population. On the economic front, despite a clear slowdown, performance has been remarkable in Spain (more than 3.5% average annual growth, and 2, 88 million jobs in 4 years).

However, some of its policies, but few of both major and symbolic, gave weapons to opposition. The key was the revision of the Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia in July 2006, which was heavily criticized within the left and rejected by a large section of public opinion. In the year preceding the election, the right led an intense campaign of denigration of the social report, stressing the economic deterioration of the end of term: rising unemployment, reaching 8% in early 2008 and the outbreak of the housing bubble.

His speech on the themes of society, such as secularism, gay, or even autonomy has also radicalized the socialist social policies that were denounced on behalf of a return to traditional family model.
In particular, the Conservatives have often denounced the legalization of gay marriage or abortion facility during the campaign. During the campaign, the PP has also highlighted the concerns of Spanish citizens face an "uncontrolled? immigration.

Following the economic downturn, including rising unemployment, illegal workers (and the hundreds of thousands regulated by the Socialist government) are becoming increasingly undesirable in the eyes of the Spaniards. In recent years, Spain has indeed become the main haven for immigrants in Europe: more than600,000 each year to come. Finally, the campaign has seen the emergence of new debate on constitutional and territorial organization of the Spanish State.

Tags: Parliament of the Cortes Generales, Parliaments of the Autonomous Communities, Socialist Party government, People's Party, Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia,

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